The Mille Miglia Classic XL by Chopard is a very cool chronograph, one of the finest of the year. For several reasons. It’s a limited edition, just 90 pieces. It has a logical dial. There are not many chronographs with this degree of clarity. On a pure white background, all the scales are perfectly functional and legible. The tachymeter scale has intermediate markings so you can read off the speed accurately. The chronograph seconds scale is continuous all the way around, complete with its quarter-second subdivisions. This may seem obvious for a chronograph, but there are many, many watches of this type that seem designed for illegibility.
No date window
The chronograph seconds hand extends all the way to the tachymeter scale. Chronograph minutes and hours are clearly marked. Generous SuperLuminova on hour and minute hands, and hour markings, making it useful in the night. The dial’s no-frills purity is enhanced by the absence of a date window.
The Mille Miglia Classic XL has a superb movement. A hand-wound, flyback chronograph, with column wheel, vertical clutch, and Variner (variable inertia) balance wheel, it looks great, with really solid levers and two-tone nickel-silver and gilded finish. It’s a watch-lover’s watch. The sort of watch that you’re going to wear every day because it’s solid, reliable, and you enjoy that moment of winding the watch with the big practical crown every morning. The Barenia calfskin strap will age well, acquiring a distinctive, unique patina. It has a gold folding clasp.
Mille Miglia Classic XL – the details
The Mille Miglia Classic XL celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Mille Miglia race. Chopard has sponsored it since 1988, and the brand’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele takes part himself, driving a vintage car. The watch celebrates the anniversary, and it is the most prestigious Mille Miglia watch that Chopard have ever made. It is in a rose gold case, a large piece (I guess that XL means extra-large) at 46 mm in diameter and 13 mm thick. Short downcurving lugs make it easier to wear on a normal wrist. It has a water resistance of 5 bar, a bit more than the standard 3 atm but only capable of dealing with rain and splashes, definitely not swimming. The piston-type pushers and the large, deeply fluted crown add a bit of automotive character. The dial is pure white, presumably a sort of enamel, with snailed counters.
L.U.C Calibre 03.07-L
The L.U.C Calibre 03.07-L is a hand-wound movement that Chopard uses for its highest-end chronographs, with sophisticated finish. One of the features of Chopard’s calibres is their tough, robust looks and this is no exception. Even at its small dimensions, it speaks of power and strength. It is COSC-certified for precision, and has the Poinçon de Genève hallmark as a guarantee of its quality craftsmanship. The movement has 300 components, runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz) and has a power reserve of about 60 hours.
Price and reference
The Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition by Chopard is a 90-piece edition. It is reference 161299-5001. It costs €38,420, 39,000 Swiss francs, £32,110. More info on the Chopard website.